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100 startups shortlisted to exhibit at UoN Innovation Week in March

University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor Peter Mbithi. FILE PHOTO | NMG
University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor Peter Mbithi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

University of Nairobi has shortlisted 100 startups to showcase products during its Innovation Week (NIW) which starts on March 5.

Out of the 100 startups, 15 will be given an opportunity to pitch their ideas before a group of 35 investors who have registered for this year’s investors’ forum to be hosted at the university’s main campus on March 9.

Vice Chancellor Peter Mbithi also asked innovators to partner with learning institutions to promote their products once they are launched into the market.

“We want Kenyans and the world to have confidence in Kenyan products and it is upon learning institutions to act as incubation centres that help startups to get noticed. These startups will generate the much needed jobs as well as provide solutions for various challenges,” Prof Mbithi said.

The VC said the university had partnered with multinationals, development agencies and investor groups to build the startups’ profile with a view to opening up opportunities for them to partner with investors.

Industrialisation CS Adan Mohamed welcomed such partnerships saying Kenya needs to create a conducive environment for startups adding that the government seeks to equip 5,000 youth with employable skills in 2018.

“Out of 10 jobs created, small and medium enterprises generate eight or nine jobs. We need to rethink the academia- job market linkage...,” the CS said.

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